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duce her to the Infirmary at St. Pancras workhouse. Here I had several conversations with her in the presence of the matron, and supplied her with tracts suitable to her condition, and urged her strongly to examine her own mind, with a view to her entering the Magdalen Hospital, to which I took some pains in procuring her admission. But how dreadful an alteration had vice wrought in a few years in the body and mind of her whom I had last seen a guileless child, spending her Sunday evening in reading her Bible. I think that had the contrast between her first and second state been painted to her, or set forth in language sufficiently strong and vivid, she would have shuddered at her own abase. ment, and the horror and shame might have conduced, even then, to her reformation. She was now become most repulsive in her appearance, and I could not help saying to myself, is it possible that this can be the same serious observer of the Sabbath, and student of the Scriptures, whom I saw only a few years ago ? What havoc does a course of depravity make even upon the outward frame.
But even this was nothing to the transformation wrought in the character of her mind; she was become sullen, violent, selfish, and unfeeling; and I soon suspected that her penitence was feigned, and felt that I had, in attempting her restoration to virtue, undertaken a difficult task, and almost impracticable without a miracle to accomplish. In talking of the Magdalen, she said she had no objection to be taken thither, provided she was not to stay long;' and when the miseries and horrors of her wretched wandering life, cold, hungry, and shelterless, the sport of every drunken reveller, the associate of the worthless, the victim of watchmen, and the unpitied scorn of the public offices were laid before her, she replied with cool indifference, that she had no particular objection to her late course of conduct. She had now far, very far, evidently been alienated from any religious feeling, and become carnal, sensual, devilish.
Thus matters went forward, until the evening preceding the day when it was appointed that she should enter the Magdalen. She then threw off at once the last semblance of a wish to reform, and declaring in coarse language, that she would not remain in that workhouse any longer, leaped the wall in the dusk, and disappeared among her former associates. Her parents, were now left for three years longer in a state of uncertainty as to her fate. The next account I had of this runaway, was an application from the Mendicity Society, on whose mercy she had thrown herself in the last extremity of destitution. On being asked for a respectable reference as to her account of herself, she gave my name as one well acquainted with her history. I directed the agent of the Society to her parents ; but on seeking her in the place which she had given as her residence, it appeared she was gone, the people of the house knew not whither. I well remember,-I never can forget,—the singular event of my inquiry on that occasion. I was literally afraid to enter Lawrence Street, known in St. Giles's as the Rookery, and the receptacle of all desperate characters of both sexes, where the appearance of a decent stranger was likely to be hailed as the appearance of a victim. To accompany me, I prevailed on a respectable Surgeon, Mr. P , whose duties had long familiarized
him with the place; and here we met, probably through his influence, with nothing but the utmost civility. In the house where Eliza R. had lodged, which was a public house, I saw a large dormitory, in which the many beds were all crowded together; and here I was told, that those unhappy creatures who could scrape together a few pence, obtained now and then the lodging of a whole or half night, and were thus relieved from their com. mon alternative, of a perambulation of the streets until morning. Upon inquiry respecting the habits of this unfortunate young person, I found them not in general different from the struggles with want, misery, and wretchedness, which are the lot of others of the same description. One thing however gave me a ray of comfort, as it held out a faint hope that the depravity was not yet complete. I asked the landlady whether she had observed any one favourable trait in her character. “Yes,' replied the woman, 'I always remarked, that she preferred earning a few halfpence by cleaning my rooms, to the chance of wandering in the streets at night.' I remark this, as her biographer, as it was the first encouraging circumstance upon which I built my hope of her final restoration. In visiting this rookery, I saw standing under a gateway in a disconsolate mood, most miserably clothed, and bearing the ravages of disease in her face, a young and slender female, scarcely fifteen years of age to appearance, and evidently ruminating on her ruined state, her blasted prospects, accusing herself of her folly, and remorseful for her crime. I inquired of her what other lodging houses there were in the court or alley; in the hope of finding the object of my search, and with the utmost civility, and
elegance of manners, which shewed her to have moved in higher life, and to have seen better days, she conducted us in our search. Dreadful and awful close of a brief life, had I had time to reflect on it. I there saw another young female,—but she had abandoned her course of vice, and received a temporary reception from the charity of the old tenant until she could obtain a place of service. She too was in a state of despondency; and on my asking her why she did not go into service at once, she replied with a look of wild despair, “Who will take me from this place—who will take me without a character ?' Here then was another instance of that gulph of wretchedness, hopeless wretchedness, into which these young females plunge themselves by yielding in the hour of thoughtlessness to one, and that often a first temptation.
But now to return from this digression. Eliza R- had thrown herself into the workhouse of St. Giles's, from whence she was transferred to that of St. Pancras, and I was encouraged to hope, in spite of her confirmed habits of depravity, that her restoration to virtue was not impossible. She was still young, not more than one and twenty; although she had run so long a career of vice, she had experienced its bitterest fruits. Her prospects were closing in, and I gathered hope from her long experience in wretchedness, in which hope I was confirmed by another circumstance which had hap. pened previous to her first return. When an inmate of the Lock Hospital, I found her consciousness of her degradation had been extreme, and a sense of remaining delicacy which she could not at that time overcome, had dictated her first letter to her parents ; so that after several attempts to talk with
her in the workhouse, even when the clerks and other servants assured me, I was losing my labour, since I knew not how lost the depraved creature was, and indeed everything that was bad, I would not entirely quit my hope, till I found that she made a second sally from the house, and quitting it as before, was once again lost in the crowds of the metropolis. Her mother, an excellent and religious woman, made every search for two years, but in vain ; visiting all the haunts of crime, the courts and alleys of the worst character, seeking to obtain intelligence respecting her lost daughter ; and now at last the time arrived, when the quest was to become successful, and when unexpectedly, and as by a miracle, the guilty child was to be reclaimed. She was found living with a man who had been a sailor. It was discovered that on his return from sea, he went, with the usual thoughtlessness of his class, of all places in the world, to Lawrence Street, St. Giles's, to this very rookery, in search of a companion for life. The person he selected was the subject of this memoir, and they had now lived, though without marriage, faithful to each other for nearly two years. He was poor, but industrious; she had husbanded his savings, and as the best proof of economy, had entirely weaned both herself and him from the pernicious habit of gin-drinking. The mother, on discovering these facts, expressed, a mingled satisfaction and displeasure ; * All this is well,' said she, ‘so far ; hut though I will not dissolve the intimacy, I must insist on its being in. stantly rendered lawful.' Upon which they both replied, that they had not the slightest objection to marriage, save that they were too poor to bear the expences. Under this difficulty this young person